Jessie and the ANC money eaters still play the victim card

13 July 2018 - 08:00
ANC deputy secretary-general, Jesse Duarte says EWN is the sister station of 702, and “702 is owned by people who have historically hated the ANC”
ANC deputy secretary-general, Jesse Duarte says EWN is the sister station of 702, and “702 is owned by people who have historically hated the ANC”
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mohau Mofokeng

It was a small story, but given almost total silence and the invisibility of Cyril Ramaphosa and Mmusi Maimane, and the EFF doing nothing but threatening to hold its breath until the grown-ups let it stay up late. It stood out as an important reminder of how we are still teetering on a knife edge, still undecided whether we will choose cautious progress or topple back into the despair of the Zuma era.

This week, EWN’s Clement Manyathela approached the ANC's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, and asked her to elaborate on statements, reported by the Sunday Times, implying she believed that Tony Yengeni should never have been jailed.

Duarte was reportedly happy to oblige at first, but after a few minutes she made a dramatic about-turn: she would not allow Manyathela to air the recording she had just agreed to. Her reason? EWN is the sister station of 702, and “702 is owned by people who have historically hated the ANC”.

Apart from the absurdity of an interviewee refusing to comment after having commented, this raised an interesting problem. If Duarte and the ANC think that criticism is hatred, and want to ignore or silence anyone who criticises them, what’s the plan for the millions and millions of South Africans who genuinely do dislike them quite a lot? Are they just going to ignore them? And if so, how is that different from standard ANC service delivery?

More intriguing, however, was the bit where Duarte started talking about her clear conscience.

For more on this story, please visit Times Select.

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